Talk:Web application

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I think the introduction part is ambiguous and I suggest we change it as following: A question is that how can we distinguish a web site and a web application? I guess they are the same.

A web application is an application that is accessed over machine boundary. In the narrow sense, the term always mean an application developed over World Wide Web depending on HTTP protocol applying the client-server model. The client always indicates a web browser, while the server always indicates a web server which responds to the HTTP request.

The web application is popular due to the ubiquity of web browsers. Also the ability of maintaining and updating the application without distributing and installing softwares on potentially thousands of client computers, which implies the cross-platform compatibility, is another key reason for the popularity.

Amixyue (talk) 03:44, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

The current introduction, and some of the comments above, are WAY off formal definitions :/
A web site is a computer on the internet which serves HTTP or HTTPS for a given hostname. That is ALL. It could simply provide a list of files and allow downloading, using built-in HTTP server support, without a single web page implemented on the server side. Web sites are NOT AT ALL the same thing as a web application, a web page, or a collection of web pages, any more than a computer is the same thing as a computer game.
Amixyue's definition of webapps is reasonable, though I would argue that simple, one-page scripts like CGI-BIN scripts or one-page PHP calculator scripts are web pages, and web apps are the more complex beasts that maintain state, acting much like a desktop application, with menus (not necessarily desktop-like in appearance), different screens, usually some sort of underlying database, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:21, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Please sign your messages by inserting ~~~~ at the end and adhere to appropriate indentation rules.
Now, regardless of your opinion, Wikipedia is governed by the principle of verifiability. If you think something is wrong, you must provide a source for what you think is right, especially when what you think is wrong cites sources. Your contribution however, had many more problems: It was full of redundant technical words and jargons and it was wrong. Norton Internet Security, MediaCoder , "SKF Catalog" and most rich Internet applications all provide web pages to be rendered in a web browser, and for which those web pages provide at least part of the application's user-interface; but they are not web applications. Existing definition correctly classifies them as "not web apps" because they don't run inside a web browser.
Remember, content without source, such as yours, may be challenged or reverted.
Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk) 14:14, 26 September 2014 (UTC)



Good job on the rewrite and merging from "browser-based". However, I am a bit concerned about the following sentence:

Because of their architectural similarities to traditional client-server applications, with a somewhat "thick" client, there is some dispute over whether to call systems of this sort "web applications"; an alternative term is "rich internet application".

It would be a good idea to provide a source for this dispute. Flash and Java applets are indeed applications delivered over the web, with code updates made only on the server-side (with the rare exception that a plug-in or JRE needs to be upgraded to a particular version, but this applies to any web applications that may utilize their resources). With no need for traditional client distribution, I don't see how they can be seen differently from a web application. One could compare the web browser to common plug-ins and the JRE (which merely make the thin client a little thicker), as being tantamount to OS fixtures, as they are so ubiquitous.

I am not looking for a back-and-forth argument here and these will be the last words I say on the matter. But I will be looking for a source. Thanks. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 21:43, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)

That sentence was based on conversations I've had with people who either work or teach in the field, so I don't have any print or web source to cite. Their argument was that a well-designed client-server system can update a thick client transparently over the internet in much the same way as you'd update a cached Java applet (what MS is trying to do with Windows Update), the difference between a browser-executed app and an OS-executed app is arbitrary (see DoJ vs. MS), and some of those "applets" get pretty darn chubby. The disinction's getting blurrier; I was trying to acknowledge that, instead of simply asserting my own position (that a browser-executed Flash app is just as much a web app as anything done with HTML & Javascript). In retrospect, "disgreement" would be better than "dispute", because no one in any of these conversations lost their temper. :) Tverbeek 23:40, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It appears that a potential rewording lies in the words you use to your response here. Clarity is a Good Thing (TM). — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 00:15, Jun 19, 2005 (UTC)

wikipedia as example[edit]

I would think readers unfamiliar with the subject would find it interesting to be reminded that wikipedia itself is an example of a web app. Is there any reason why it's not mentioned here as a particularly relevant illustration (and in the Application Service Providers article)? ["wiki" is mentioned very briefly in a passing list near the top, but doesn't really make the point with any impact.]

Add examples?[edit]

I think it would help the page if there were examples mentioned. I came here from the Google Docs page, as Google Docs is a web app and this page is referenced multiple types, but nothing points from web apps to one of the brightest examples, or any other. (talk) 23:56, 9 February 2016 (UTC)Stefan